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The Rocky Franchise

post #1 of 154
Thread Starter 
I am a little surprised that I couldn't find a thread on these films, but feel free to point me in the right direction if there is one.

Over the summer, I ended up watching Rocky Balboa several times as it seemed to be on Showtime every time I turned on my TV. I found it quite entertaining and a nice way to bring the franchise full circle. That being said, I was unborn or quite young when the previous five Rocky films came out and so this made me want to revisit them with fresh eyes.

Lucky for me there were marathons on Bravo, where I caught I-III, and AMC, where I watched III again as well as IV and V. Since Rocky Balboa is relatively recent, and presumably well-discussed, I will limit my comments to the first five films.

Rocky I
I forgot that Adrian is actually an interesting character in this film in contrast to the seeming one note "Rocky is retired" role she plays in the subsequent films. The romance that plays a central role in the series is convincingly established.
Some seemed to be disappointed by the loss Rocky suffers at the end, but that misses the point. Rocky only needs to prove to himself, like in Rocky Balboa, that he is/was as good as the best and any failures in the past were not due to a lack of ability. Rocky stands toe-to-toe with the best and is triumphant against his own self-doubt.

Rocky II
Having proven his boxing ability to himself, Rocky is ready to move on, but no one else is interested in Rocky moving on. Very strong for a second film, I have a hard picking my favorite between I and II. I would say that Rocky I has the edge, since II seems like the obvious next step for the series.

Rocky III
Eye of the Tiger. Retread of Rocky vs. Self-Doubt as touched on in Rocky I. Entertaining film, but possibly the most generic. I find III more interesting than IV, but not as interesting as V.

Rocky IV
Extremely 80's, over the top. Rocky punches through the Iron Curtain.

Rocky V
Popular opinion seems to regard this as the worst Rocky film, but I don't find this to be the case. The way in which Rocky loses his money is a bit weak and probably just to justify the sequel, but it allows for the exploration of some worthwhile themes. Clearly, he wouldn't be the first or last entertainer to go from rags to riches, to rags again. Also, the introduction of the Duke and Tommy Gunn, allow the film to touch on the greed and ruthlessness of entertainment industry that seems mostly ignored by the previous installments.
While there were cringe-inducing moments involving Sage Stallone trying to act tough, the father-son dynamic was not without value. I relate as the son of a father from a tough background and the idea that you don't belong where your father does. He does not seem to feel trapped between worlds, as I sometimes do, but this may be a side effect of his father's celebrity.
This film is a bit of a downer and so it makes sense that Stallone would want to end the series on a high note with Rocky Balboa.
post #2 of 154
Besides the obvious, which is Rocky is the best and should have been the only Rocky film, Rocky IV is the second best. Rocky vs. Russia. Hearts on Fire. Montages. The crowd. And of course, Dolph.
post #3 of 154
The first is of course the best but for second best, I can't decide if I like 3 or 4 more. 4 has the great music and adrenaline but then again 3 has Apollo going "DINGGGG, DINNNG." and the freeze frame end is my favorite. Or was that from 2?
post #4 of 154
I was lucky enough to turn on AMC HD during that amazing Rocky/Tommy Gunn fight. It's the best part of ROCKY V because of all the funny/weird moments.

- Evil Mick flashbacks
- the rap beat that kicks in when Rocky starts winning
- Rocky suddenly pulling off fancy leg sweeps and spin moves.
- the cuts to George Washington Duke ("YUH LOSE YUH FINISHED!!")
- Adrian's deep "Noooooooooooo!" voice when she appears at the street fight in her pajamas
- The Earthquake Cam closeups of Sage Stallone ("He took my ROOOOOOOOOOM!"
post #5 of 154
Those are all great moments, especially the earthquake closeups when Sage is yelling "GO FOR IT, DAD, GO FOR IT!", to tie in with the song from the movie, "Go For It". And I love the zoom ins to the sinister George Washington Duke watching Tommy Gunn from the audience in the montage.
post #6 of 154
There are basically two George Washington Duke cuts.
One is the "NAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!" cut and the other is the "FIGHT BACK YOU BUM FIGHT BACK!!!!!!" finger point cut.
post #7 of 154
"Touch me and I'll sue!"

Then Rocky punches him (and the priest approves!), and in the next movie "Rocky Balboa" he should have been in even more dire financial straits! They don't mention the mammoth lawsuit G.W.D. had to have given him!
post #8 of 154
Rocky hits him with a vicious body punch and he's launched into the hood of a car!
post #9 of 154
Own a piece of the legend!



The most sought after Rocky figure after the number one, "Side of beef".
post #10 of 154
Rocky - Classic sports flick.
Rocky II - Worthy sequel.
Rocky III - Worthy send off (or so we thought).
Rocky IV - Hammy but fun.
Rocky V - Retarded, but fun!
Rocky Balboa - A better send off and the best of the sequels.
post #11 of 154
englebert, somehow you echoed my thoughts on the franchise exactly. I also have trouble choosing between parts I and II (though lean toward II), find III to be great entertainment if not especially deep, find part IV to be an atrocity worthy of mocking and derision, find V to be completely underappreciated, and love Rocky Balboa.
post #12 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luscious Python View Post
Rocky - Classic sports flick.
Rocky II - Worthy sequel.
Rocky III - Worthy send off (or so we thought).
Rocky IV - Hammy but fun.
Rocky V - Retarded, but fun!
Rocky Balboa - A better send off and the best of the sequels.
You're close:

Rocky - A flat-out great film.
Rocky II - A lesser movie, but still good.
Rocky III - Superhero movie.
Rocky IV - Superhero movie.
Rocky V - Jumping Jesus on a pogo stick.
Rocky Balboa - A really good film.
post #13 of 154
I caught these on AMC this week. I dig all of them for various reasons, but recently I noticed a problem with Rocky's boxing. His whole strategy is to block his opponent's punches with his face. And after they beat the shit out of him for 15 rounds, he punches them back. Not really effective, if you should ask me.
post #14 of 154
Grew up on these films. Love them all (yes, even V!) It's like visiting a friend every few years and seeing how he's doing.
Sylvester Stallone actually gave his scores on how he rates the films.

Rocky 10/10
Rocky II 7.5/10
Rocky III 9/10
Rocky IV 7.5/10
Rocky V 0/10

He didn't rate Rocky Balboa but I bet he'd give it a 9.5/10

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ufo__2MwTME
post #15 of 154
IV is over-the-top jingoistic garbage and the love it gets around here never fails to baffle me.
post #16 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Dickson View Post
IV is over-the-top jingoistic
You say that as if it's a bad thing.
post #17 of 154
The first one is an all-time favorite film of mine. Honestly, it'd probably make my list of top 50 great movies ever. It's still not as good as Raging Bull, but it is the second greatest boxing movie.

The second movie is solid. Perhaps, there's a bit too much rehash in it, but the characters were still strong. I agree with Misfit about the third and fourth entries: superhero movies. There very entertaining and decently made, but I would never dream of comparing them to the first.

I hate Rocky V. I try my best to avoid that one.

Rocky Balboa surprised me. I wasn't expecting anything good, but Sly really ended the franchise on a great note. Unsurprisingly, it has more in common with the first movie than the others, which is probably why the movie works so damn well.
post #18 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by User_32 View Post
You say that as if it's a bad thing.
They way it's done in IV, it is.
post #19 of 154
My favorite is Rocky Balboa, simply because it's as close as Stallone comes to having nuance. I like Rocky okay, but by the time I saw it, there was nothing there but the beats. And Stallone is good, but it's not especially well put together (none of them are). Of the rest of the sequels, Rocky III is the best because it's ironically pretty awesome, and Mr. T is great in it. IV was the only one I saw in the theater. It's not as great as you want it to be.
post #20 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Dickson View Post
IV is over-the-top jingoistic garbage and the love it gets around here never fails to baffle me.
I agree with this statement so much. I kind of love the original Rocky, but as soon as the films starts to go over the top in Rocky 3 I can't stand them. There's this weird situation where the films are kind of earnest but retardedly camp at the same time.
post #21 of 154
Just say "I vill break you" out loud and see if you feel the same way.
post #22 of 154
Exactly, even I use the fucking memes at times and I hate the films. It's like Rocky 4 isn't a film as much as it's three scenes which have become some piece of urban mythology.
post #23 of 154
I couldn't agree more, yet I like it and you don't. Funny how that works.
post #24 of 154
I dare anyone to watch "Hearts on Fire" and not feel something.
The 2 training montages in IV are some of the best I've ever seen.
post #25 of 154
My personal favorite Rocky IV song is War by Vince DiCola.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ingPbmcNlkQ

Quote:
this song is for MAN
post #26 of 154
Rocky 2 is my favorite (it doesn't get any better than Adrian telling him to win followed by the training montage)but Rocky is a close second.

Weirdest moment in the seires....Rocky and Apollo celebrating in the california surf in Rocky 3.
post #27 of 154
Rocky V is underrated. Aside from the aforementioned end fight (complete with the ghost of Mickey and psychodelic bleeding Rocky), there's a good story there about the nature of professional sports. It's not high art, but I sure thought it was better than Rocky Balboa. RB's egotism is second only to Rocky 4.

And while Rocky was the best, Rocky 2 has the best damn training sequence of then all- "Well wotta we waitin' for?!"
post #28 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobClark View Post
It's not high art, but I sure thought it was better than Rocky Balboa.
Lord have mercy! Oh my.
post #29 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobClark View Post
And while Rocky was the best, Rocky 2 has the best damn training sequence of then all- "Well wotta we waitin' for?!"
"There is one more thing I want you to do for me."
"Yeah, what's that?"
"Win."

And the bell rings and I get goosebumps every. Single. Time.
post #30 of 154
Let's build up some "HURTIN BOMBS"
post #31 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobClark View Post
Rocky V is underrated. Aside from the aforementioned end fight (complete with the ghost of Mickey and psychodelic bleeding Rocky), there's a good story there about the nature of professional sports. It's not high art, but I sure thought it was better than Rocky Balboa. RB's egotism is second only to Rocky 4.
I sort of agree. V is easily the least entertaining but it seemed to me like a fairly honest attempt at returning the series to its roots, pretty much the same thing people praise Balboa for doing. I'm glad it wasn't the final film though - in spite of the 'money isn't everything' theme, V ended up feeling like a bit of a downer, which I don't think is how such an unironically upbeat series should end.

I still haven't seen Balboa, i'm going to save it until I get the opportunity to watch the whole series again.

It's funny that I have such a soft spot for this series, considering I have even less interest in boxing then in most other sports, and considering I only saw any of the films for the first time a few years ago (so no nostalgia factor) and long after their cultural heyday. I think it's because, although I'm a naturally cynical bastard (actually, more likely it's *because* of that fact) i'm kind of attracted to earnest big-hearted positivity and optimism, and there's tons of that in the Rocky series.
post #32 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans Gruber's EYE CONDITION! View Post
Let's build up some "HURTIN BOMBS"
Crack crack!

*crowd goes wild*
post #33 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fritz Chrome View Post
I still haven't seen Balboa, i'm going to save it until I get the opportunity to watch the whole series again.
Back-to-back viewings work for some franchises. I don't think this is one of them. Rocky Balboa wants you to have a warm but hazy memory of the character, the feeling that you're catching up with someone you haven't seen in a long time.
post #34 of 154
^^ Hmm interesting. in that case I might just rent Balboa now and save the 6 film marathon for some other time.
post #35 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Devildoubt View Post
I caught these on AMC this week. I dig all of them for various reasons, but recently I noticed a problem with Rocky's boxing. His whole strategy is to block his opponent's punches with his face. And after they beat the shit out of him for 15 rounds, he punches them back. Not really effective, if you should ask me.
I'm convinced that Rocky has a switch installed (something akin to Mean Machine's in JUDGE DREDD) on his skull below the skin. It requires just the perfect combo to unlock the code (UP, UP, DOWN, DOWN, etc), unleashing SUPER SAIYAN STALLION!

Love these flicks shamelessly. This was the bonding franchise for me and my old man. Watching ROCKY BALBOA down here in FL made me home sick for Eastern PA and miss my Dad miserably (RIP 2000).
post #36 of 154
There is a Rocky marathon on TV right now, and my love was rekindled of an old scene in Rocky III I had forgotten about. The beginning of the movie where Paulie has his drunken stumble through the streets (complete with sleazy old timey harmonica music) and into a video arcade. Paulie's face as he leers at a Rocky pinball machine is classic.
post #37 of 154
V is about one thing only. The earring.
post #38 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by DARKMITE8 View Post
Love these flicks shamelessly. This was the bonding franchise for me and my old man. Watching ROCKY BALBOA down here in FL made me home sick for Eastern PA and miss my Dad miserably (RIP 2000).
This. The Connery Bond films, too.

I love Rocky I and Balboa. Rocky II is a close second and I also enjoy the hell out of III. But I actively hate IV. I fucking despise that movie. V didn't make enough of an impression either way.
post #39 of 154
Watched the end of V and most of III last night. Rocky training in the hotel in III...awesome. Rocky all of a sudden doing leg sweeps and takedowns at the end of V...not so much.
post #40 of 154
Rocky was a leg-breaker for the mob, it's not surprising he knows how to fight dirty.
post #41 of 154
Legs sweeps and fancy Spin Moves are considered "fighting dirty"?
That was probably the best part of ROCKY V, though.
post #42 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by wadew1 View Post
That was probably the best part of ROCKY V, though.
nah, the best part was the head trip he goes on just before that. With Ghost Mickey telling he "I didn't hear no bell"
post #43 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Myers View Post
V is about one thing only. The earring.
"You look like the daughter I always wanted."
post #44 of 154
Courtesy of youtube, here is Paulie's drunken leer from Rocky III.

post #45 of 154
post #46 of 154
Yeah that news made me giddy.
post #47 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by User_32 View Post

http://www.deadline.com/2013/07/fruitvale-station-duo-ryan-coogler-and-michael-b-jordon-team-with-sly-stallone-on-mgm-rocky-spinoff-creed/

 

Officially my most anticipated film of all time. Not joking.

 

Finally! A chance to re-do Rocky V. If done right, this film could be amazing. They need to work in some dinner scene where a stew is served though.
post #48 of 154

And Rocky needs to tell Creed Jr. Jr. "There is NO TOMORROW!"

post #49 of 154

ROCKY BEYOND.

post #50 of 154
OH GOD.
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